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Sylvia Tcherassi for Payless Collection — A Rock Star Ballerina’s Footprints















If a Degas painting came to life and the graceful ballerinas pictured therein headed to the Blacks and Whites’ Carnival in the Colombian city of Pasto, where they trailed a group of comparasas (costumed artisans parading through the streets dancing and singing) while executing grand jetés and pirouettes, you’d get a feel for the folksy ballerina feel of designer Sylvia Tcherassi’s work. A native of Barranquilla, Colombia, Tcherassi is known for jubilant, colorful, celebratory ready-to-wear pieces, jewelry, and handbags that reference Colombian folk music and art and choreographed ballet opuses, but are infused with a sprinkle of rock-n-roll bravado.

Now, Tcherassi is stepping into the footwear realm, becoming the latest fashion luminary to joining the Payless family of guest designers. New for Spring 2011, the  Sylvia Tcherassi for Payless collection features three basic silhouettes: a strappy sandal, a hard-edged mesh and faux leather heel, and a ballerina slipper with ribbon ties.

First, there’s the Genova Elastic Strap Sandal (pictured at top in a red, fuchsia, and purple colorway and then second from top in an all-black color scheme), which takes the bandage look that Herve Leger made so popular with his figure-hugging dresses and transforms it to suit the footwear arena. Featuring a 4.5″ heel wrapped in patent leather, the sandal incorporates multi-colored elastic strips that stem outward from one central vertical strip, a naughty peep toe, and a zipper along the back of the shoe.

If you’re looking to walk on the wild side, check out the dominatrix-flavored Milano Ankle Wrap Sandal, which features a black mesh fabric secured with corset-like lacing along the ankles. The rounded opening at the back of the foot and the open vamp area add to the provocative feel of this design, as does the gold hardware spicing up the the faux leather at the toe area. With a 4.5″ wrapped heel and platform, this is one big boss of a shoe.

And last, there’s the Siena Ribbon Flat, a classic ballerina slipper style with satin-like uppers and a rounded but sturdy toe that nod to classic pointe shoes. To give the shoes a bit of pop, Tcherassi chose contrasting colors for the trim (gold for the black model and orange for the bronzed brown style) and for the ribbon that crisscrosses over the foot and wraps along the ankle and calf.


Sylvia Tcherassi for Payless Genova Elastic Strap Sandal in Red or Black, $69.99 each; Sylvia Tcherassi for Payless Milano Ankle Wrap Sandal, $69.99; and Sylvia Tcherassi for Payless Siena Ribbon Flat in Brown/Orange or Black, $44.99. Available at Payless.com



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